A Better Learning Environment

I don’t have A) The Money B) The Skill or C) The Discipline to play cash poker, but I am starting to grow more interested in gaining playing experience that more closely resembles micro or very low stakes cash play. (I’m aware higher stakes are a different ball game all together for serious players). I think I know what you’re thinking and before you go there, I more than realize play chip/social poker and cash poker can never be the same thing, as real risk is needed in the game to play it properly - HOWEVER, I am on the verge of trying to ask certain players or those who may be interested to come together at certain times to join in some ring or sit n’ go games. This is not intended to disrespect Replay; it is intended to gain playing experience without real money risk.

It would be impossible to set parameters to these types of games, as there are basically limitless and an infinite number of approaches and styles. I do have a feeling that there are a decent amount of people who know what type of game I am talking about. One where players fold a lot pre-flop, one where players raise pre-flop, where players 3-bet, and even 4-bet. One where an open PF raise gets one or two callers, instead of 6-8. Where thought goes into post-flop play. Where things aren’t always a race. Where limping is rare. I know this may be asking for a miracle. I’m looking for players who are actually interested in learning. Where inflating a bankroll with play chips is secondary to learning lessons and gaining a better understanding of the game.

I would be seeking experienced and solid players who have cash game experience to help those learning. I would appreciate honesty and integrity. I expect the solid players to actually have had some cash game success - and if they are willing to help players gain experience it would be fantastic.

If you’re someone who doesn’t chase outrageous draws with bad odds, or limp every hand, or are just playing on a wing and a prayer M.O. to catch flops, but rather someone who wants to somewhat learn the intricacies of the game and who takes more pride in their games than the typical boring, passive play, then please reach out to this post. If there are people interested more in this style of game or learning from experienced players via playing experience (with them), please reach out and perhaps we can arrange a group to play sit n go’s or ring games at a certain time. This sounds like the initial stages of forming a league, but I don’t really know how that would hold up.

If there are also experienced, solid players (mostly with cash game experience and success) who may be willing to play HU or short handed games at a slow place and from time to time stop (posting ‘away’ between hands) to review in the chat, that could maybe be a great help.

I also would like to reiterate I am by no means a decent player - I am slowly learning the basics - and I intend no disrespect towards anyone or towards Replay. If you may be able to offer help, input, or suggestions regarding this idea, please do so. I’m just looking for a good experience environment to learn actual poker - one that more resembles real risk/real cash play than what is so often seen here. Some players just aren’t very good at all, regardless.
And I obviously mean quite bad - as a lot of us really aren’t that good and may think we are.
I’m more talking about players who really don’t even have the slightest clue. For players to make an effort to actually play as if it is real money. It’s a very difficult topic in general, but nonetheless, I’m looking to try. Thank you all very much.


I’ve played real money micro and low stakes rings online, and low-buyin ($2-$20) tournaments, and don’t see much of a difference between those and the mid to higher stakes play here. Many of the higher stakes/buyin games here feature players who know more (and play better) than the lowest stakes real money games. It’s an overly broad generalization to assume a big difference between real money and Replay.

Different formats play differently. Ring games are not the same as MTTs, SnGs are different than both. Some MTTs have a “First 7” leaderboard, and these play differently on Monday than they do on Friday. The same is true of SnGs that have a “First 20” board. All formats play a little differently at different times of the day. For example, expect a more aggressive game during European “prime time” than you would see during Eastern US prime time. There are a lot of nuances to online poker, and it pays to recognize and understand them.

I would also note that many more people here buy chips than you might guess. These people ARE playing for real money. These people seem to be clustered in the mid stakes/buyin portion of Replay’s offerings. I guess those with no bank don’t bother to buy chips, those with huge banks don’t need to.

Here, as in real money poker, table selection is important. For example, if you’re a tournament player, the regional league tournies play much closer to low buy-in real money games. You really have to shop around to find the stakes/formats that will suit your needs.

I would suggest you make your account at a real money site, then just watch the action for as long as it takes to really understand how people at the stakes you want to play approach the game. If this takes 100 hours, then it takes 100 hours. Never jump into a game you don’t fully understand.

In short, this site does offer a good learning experience if one takes the time and effort to find the combination of time of day, format, and stakes that match the real money games you want to play.

Oh, you might also want to check into some of the private leagues here. A few of these are set up as teaching leagues. The ones started by SharonSmarty and Puggywug come to mind, but there are probably others as well. The two I mentioned have a house rule that the winner has to show his cards, which is a good learning tool.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to address my post. First of all, I admit to actually being ignorant when it comes to matching the relative stakes. I see your point, though - the micro stakes are not much different than some of the mid to high Replay games. I also know there are solid players playing those relative stakes on Replay, no doubt, but their playing style has been somewhat adapted to the game tendencies and styles found on Replay. I guess I meant a little bit higher cash games stakes. I would have to both observe more and know/understand a lot more to be able to accurately estimate at which stakes the game changes. I will no doubt take your advice and observe more online cash games. Sorry if anyone may have taken offense in anything I have said. I myself am often one of those weaker players I’ve been talking about, but not quite at some of the obvious levels as players weaker than me. I’m really just looking for a more interesting game that is a little bit more geared to how professionals typically play - obviously not the skill level (duh lol), but more the vibe and style. I love playing against players like you (and others) who are much better than me. I learn a bit and it keeps me on my toes. I don’t mind losing fake chips if I am outplayed or if I play right and lose to a suck out or something of that nature. I hate losing when I make stupid mistakes, and when I’m aware I did something foolish. I hate realizing afterwards that I made foolish plays. I’m still interested in inviting certain players to games at a certain time. There are a lot of good players who I would love to enjoy a decent game with, yourself included.

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That’s a good suggestion indeed. I play in both of these leagues and they both play more like a weekly small stakes home game.
Poker Amusement (http://forums.replaypoker.com/t/poker-amusement-league) is played daily at 8pm ET and has a 5K buyin, NLHE with tight and aggressive players and winner must show hands.
Poker Disclosure (http://forums.replaypoker.com/t/poker-disclosure) is played 9pm ET on Mon, Wed and Fri and 4pm ET on Tues and Thurs, has a 2.5K buyin, PLHE with slightly less aggressive play (but they all would be good competition at a low stakes cash game) and winners must show hands.
You are allowed to join up to 2 leagues so you could join both if you’re not already a member of another.
You might at least want to spectate them to see if it’s what you’re looking for…good luck

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If you really want to improve your game there are several “free to download” books out there by some of the top pro’s. Annie Dukes & Dan Negreanu are 2 of them.
Check out the links library thread on here too. there is a heap of great stuff in there

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good point

For sure. I’ve dabbled in articles and online guides and whatnot…books like these would be great. Some players here got me to subscribe to some newsletters. I plan on going through some Poker School courses again sometime this year. Was also looking to practice at Replay with people with a similar desire.

I participate in the Poker Disclosure league, but I didn’t start it. I think that was @GrandyB. At least he was the one who invited me and seemed to be one of the main organizers. We are looking for more players.

My advice is to beat the opponents who are in front of you. If you can start a league of better players, that would be great. But if you can’t, you can still learn a lot by beating the opponents here, however bad they may be at your particular stakes.

If you specifically want to see flops with fewer callers, try starting ring games or SnGs with 4 or 6 seats instead of 9. This also will enable you to get involved in a larger percentage of hands with worse hole card, which is good experience.

Sure, being on Replay taught me to exploitatively fold an overpair QQ versus a flop raise on a safe board, which would get me murdered against good opponents, but it also gave me the experience to understand the concepts behind what to do with an overpair in this spot in the first place. It can give you a lot of experience on how to exploit the particular weaknesses of opponents, such as calling too much, never bluffing rivers, overfolding in certain spots, etc. These are weaknesses you will see at low to mid stakes cash games and tournaments live and online. In fact the weaknesses on Replay are probably the most common weaknesses seen throughout poker, so learning to exploit them can be very profitable in other contexts.


Great advice to think about and true. I’ve thought about this as well. I noticed it taking effect in a multi table tournament just the other night in which I came in second by realizing spots against my opponents. I made one really big mistake which cost me a huge pot and most likely the win, but it was in the top 5 hands I learned from the most. It included some moments that were the first time I really recognized I could trust my reads on certain opponents who weren’t terrible players.

Just finished playing the ‘A Kind of Magic’ MTT. During this one I can distinctly say I felt that I played the best poker I ever played since joining the site. That, in itself, is the best feeling - worth more than any amount of chips. I recognized it, I appreciated it, and I took advantage of it. I think I was satisfied or happy with how I played every single hand of this tournament. I didn’t win the tournament - I came in 3rd, but really recognizing what I was doing was the greatest feeling I’ve had since joining the site. Just happy in being confident that I played up to my full potential. I think I even discovered a tell that likely some familiar opponents may have had on me and now I know how to work to correct it. Seeing your thoughts really work themselves out actually is amazing. I really had fun tonight playing. First time really enjoying myself in a while. Thanks @SunPowerGuru and especially @JoeDirk for the advice at working at a new outlook. Attitude is everything sometimes. :smile::spades::hearts::diamonds::clubs:


A thing done well is it’s own victory. When it comes right down to it, we are always playing against ourselves.


Hi I would love to join these leagues. Just a query about the times are they US times. I am on Australian time. Thanks

They are on ET like everything at Replay :relaxed:

I have not read all the responses, but I might suggest the following in helping you identify the type of players you are seeking. Look to Replay’s provided stats, most notably the percentage of hands any particular player calls from the BB, SB and other positions. You might also want to check the percentage of hands folded and the percentage of pots won. I don’t think Replay provides such information on opponents, but with their help I suspect they could create a league based upon such statistics/parameters. In this way players rankings are irrelevant, nor whether or not they purchase chips, in determining who can participate.

As @puggywug said, I would like to see the inplementation of more statistical information in general. Perhaps when the system changes over. No, they certainly don’t provide this type of statistical information for opponents, just ourselves, but it is an intriguing idea from which something I’m sure could stem nonetheless. Good stuff to think about. Perhaps the right track. I’m glad you brought this up.

watch" live at the bike", then tell me about live poker, i play 3 days a week live, for 2 years, money ahead but no wins.

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